Best Hard Skills To Put On A Resume In 2021
LIke we said earlier on, the job landscape is evolving and we dont mean your typical slow pace, Darwin type of evolution. Nope. This is a fast computer age evolution and youre going to have to put in some effort and come up with some great resume ideas for skills if you dont want to be left in the dust.
This is especially true for careers that depend heavily on hard-skills, such as those in the tech, industrial and construction industry. So, just like bringing the right tool for the job, its important to bring the right set of hard-skills.
With that said, these 10 hard-skills are in huge demand in 2021:
Now, we dont mean for you to just go jotting down as many hard-skills as you can on your resume just because theyre in demand. No, unique skills for a resume or any additional skill for a resume should only be added if you can at least perform the skills with some proficiency.
Another good way to decide what skill to add on your skill summary is by asking yourself this question, Would I be able to answer a hiring managers in depth questions about such skill?. If not, then scrap it from your resume and cover letter.
Be Proud Of Your Past Accomplishments
Companies want confident employees who love their work. They know these are the people who tend to perform better, serve as stronger team members and have greater potential to grow along with the business.
Draw attention to specific examples of projects youve worked on that make you an ideal candidate, and dont hesitate to brag a little about your most pertinent achievements. Consider adding a sentence or two or even a bullet list, as long as youre not duplicating your resume of key achievements backed up with quantitative data. Did you increase revenue by identifying tax savings worth $50,000 a year, win six design awards, quadruple the companys social media following? Heres the place to mention it.
Soft Skills Vs Hard Skills What’s The Difference
‘Hard skills’ are transferable skills that can be acquired through practise, repetition, and education. Some examples are writing, reading, and coding. Hard skills are important because they increase a person’s productivity, efficiency and satisfaction in the workplace.
‘Soft skills’, on the other hand, are skills tied with a person’s personality and are not easily transferable. Soft skills enable people to perform well in their environment. Some examples are: social skills, communication skills, and adaptability.
According to an iCIMS study, these are the top soft skills for fresh graduates:
- Computer skills
- Data analysis
- Project management
- Mobile and Web Development
If some of these skills can be proved by certifications make sure to create a separate section.
Most skills on the hard skills list are job-specific. However, some are also transferable. For example, knowledge of foreign languages is a good skill that may come in handy in various professional contexts. So are project management and MS Office skills.
In this day and age, a huge portion of hard skills can be labelled as technical skills. This is reflected in the findings of a recent , where the top hard skills were identified as:
- Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
- Middleware and Integration Software
- Web Architecture and Development Framework
- UI Design
- Network and Information Security
Top 10 Personal Qualities Employers are Looking For
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How Should I Organize My Skills
You should use your skills as keywords throughout your resume. Some excellent places to include skills on your resume include your resume summary, your work experience, and your skills or core competencies section.
Once youâve identified which skills should be featured in your skills section, you can hone in on how to organize the content.
First, you want to title the section as âSkills,â âCore Competencies,â or something similarly recognizable.
âThe section headings should be very straightforward,â warns Jennifer.
âMost ATS systems are programmed to understand basic section headings i.e. âWork Experience, Education, etc.â If you get too creative with the headings it can confuse the ATS scans and skew your results. When it comes to your skills, I like to use âCore Competenciesâ or âCore Proficienciesâ.â
Skills That Help You Highlight Your Patience
Patience isn’t a race to show off the most skills and abilities. It’s rather something you build over time.
Think of scenarios, where you have had to display the following skills within a professional capacity:
- Communications & teamwork: have you ever considered what makes somebody a good communicator and team player? The ability to listen without interrupting and mindfully take part in conversations. And the secret ingredients to becoming great at those are time and patience.
- Problem-solving: this skill has become one of the biggest clichés of 2021. Check on LinkedIn, and you’ll find many “motivated problem-solvers, looking for the next challenge”. But, the ability to find solutions can be a great skill to include on your resume, as long as you can demonstrate cases where you have had to plan and follow through.
- Leadership & mentoring: noteworthy leaders and mentors are patient. They know how to nurture others and help them become better professionals – by taking the time to understand their problems.
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How To Make Your Skills Jump Out In The Ats Scan
âYour skills section should be front and center, easy for both the hiring manager and the ATS program to scan quickly,â says Jennifer.
To find the exact words theyâre looking for, refer to the job description. The better the skills in your resume match the keywords, the better your chances are to pass the ATS scan and reach the hiring managerâs hands.
How To Match Your Resume Skills To The Job Description
Many companies use an applicant tracking system , which acts as an electronic filter, to collect, scan, sort and rank resumes to narrow applicant pools to the most qualified candidates. Thats why you need to customize your resume and cover letter using keywords and phrases that match the job listing .
If an employer is looking for a graphic designer with mastery in Adobe Creative Suite, for example, you wouldnt just claim experience with software for creative professionals. List the software by name, give your expertise level, and if you have it highlight your Adobe Certified Expert certification. Likewise, if an employer is searching for an accountant with experience processing daily invoices and credit, then use similar language in your resume. Simply listing gathering receipts as a duty wont likely score well with an ATS.
Repeat common words and phrases from other postings of the same role, too. But remember, every job description is different. Tailor the keywords and skills on your resume and in your cover letter for each position.
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Throw In Numbers And Examples
If you want to know how to write a cover letter that stands out, show how you’ve had a measurable impact on an organization. Did you bring in new clients, make a process more efficient, spearhead some campaigns? Provide specific numbers, percentages to show growth, or a range or estimate to quantify results.
Offering examples can also help you illustrate what youve achieved or elaborate on the specifics. Show, dont tell, whenever possible when you describe what youve done and what you can bring to your next position.
How Do I Figure Out The Right Combination Of Skills To Include On My Resume For A Particular Job Application
Check the answer key! That is, print out the job description of the role youre interested in and take a highlighter to it , marking any skills you see listed that you have. Then, make sure these skills are listed on your resume. For example, heres a job description with some of the key skills bolded:
Email Marketing Manager
- Manage email marketing strategy and calendar
- Monitor, analyze, and report on campaign performance
- Improve campaign success throughconversion optimization, A/B testing, segmentation,and more
- Collaborate with the design and editorial teams to maintain consistent brand and voice across platforms
- Work cross-functionally with sales, product, product marketing, and data teams
- 3+ years in email marketing
- Experience withcontent management systems and email service providers such as MailChimp or Constant Contact
- Experience withGoogle Analytics, HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, and SEOa plus
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Team player with strong interpersonal, relationship-building, and stakeholder management skills
- Excellent problem solving and time management skills
And heres a list of skills you might include in your skills section if you were applying to the job:
Conversion optimization, A/B testing, segmentation, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Google Analytics, HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, SEO
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Boost Your Skills In The Work Experience Section
The work experience section of your resume should be achievement-oriented to showcase how you have used your skills to produce satisfactory results at your previous jobs. This section reinforces your experience and proves that you can use your skills in a real-life work situation.
To create a great achievement-oriented work experience section, you can use the Problem, Action, Result method:
- Problem: Identify an issue at your previous job.
- Action: Show how you used a skill to resolve the problem.
- Result: Highlight the positive result of your action.
Once you have this drafted, you can then create a single achievement-oriented bullet point to highlight your chosen skill. You can also add numbers, percentages, or other bits of data to quantify your skills. For example, you could say that you implemented a new project management software that increased the efficiency of your team by 15%. This highlights your project management skills.
Ways To Write A Resume Skills Section
Whether youre trying to catch a recruiters eye or rise to the top of an applicant tracking systems rankings, seeding your resume with relevant resume keywords should be a top priority. One simple way to do this is through a resume skills section.
A designated skills list is an optional resume section and not part of a traditional resume format. Find a good hybrid/combination or functional resume template if you want a skills section on your resume.
Here are four ways to show off what you can do with a resume skills section:
1. Create a simple bullet list resume skills section
The most straight-forward way is to make a list immediately following your contact information and summary statement. For example, a Customer Success Managers bullet points might look like this:
- Account Management
- Customer Engagement
Hitting all the top job requirements with your skills list will make a recruiters ears perk up. It will also help you rank highly for a keyword search within an applicant tracking system. Its an attention-getter, but dont stop there. Just because you list these job skills on your resume doesnt mean a corporate recruiter will believe you.
If you use this type of resume skills section, be sure to add context for every skill elsewhere in your work experience. If a recruiter is excited by Product Adoption in your skills section, the first thing theyll do is skim your work experience to figure out when, how, and how much you used that skill.
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How To Get Past The Ats: Customize Your Resume Skills For Each Job
The best skills to include on a resume are the required skills that are present in the job description.
For example, if youre applying for a job in Customer Support, the job description might include skills like IT, Stripe, Zendesk, troubleshooting, etc. These hard skills and software then become the top skills for your resume.
I know what youre thinking, and yes, that means each job you apply for requires its own unique set of resume skills. You should update your resume for every job you apply to after reviewing the job description. A one-size-fits-all resume does not work in the world of online job applications and ATS.
Want to see if youve included the most important resume skills for the job youre applying to? Scan your resume and the job description side-by-side in Jobscan.
What Should I Do If My Skills Dont Match The Job Description
During your job search, youâre probably going to come across a job that looks perfect for your goals. Unfortunately, the employer asks for skills that you donât have. What should you do?
First, determine whether the skills are hard skills or soft skills. If a job requires specific technical skills to be successful and you donât have them, you likely shouldnât apply. You wouldnât do well in this position, and this is exactly the type of qualification that ATS scans are designed to filter out. You should spend your time on other job applications or learning those skills instead.
When youâre lacking soft skills, you can try to leverage similar experiences or transferable skills. You might not have experience managing a department, but you may have managed a project. Include that on your resume instead. If youâre not experienced at public speaking, mention your experience leading a meeting or being interviewed for a podcast instead. Do your best to relate the soft skills you have to the work experience you lack.
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First Thing About How To Write A Cover Letter
Don’t rehash your resume. Your words should do more than restate salient details from what’s already in your resume. The cover letter is where you should promote yourself, describe your ambition and express your enthusiasm for a new role and company in a way that is distinct from your resume.
Check out this brief checklist of important functions of a targeted cover letter:
- A cover letter specifically relates your skills and experience to the job description and requested qualifications.
- It explains why you would love to have the job in question.
- It shows you’ve done research on the company, by commenting on its mission or key leadership.
- It finishes with a call to action that invites the hiring manager to follow up with you regarding the job opportunity.
Choose Resume Skills That Are As Specific As Possible
The last criterion for choosing your job skills is specificity.
Some skills are universal and can apply to almost any role, such as problem-solving skills, communication skills, and familiarity with Microsoft Office.
You can include these if youd like, but they dont tell the hiring manager as much as more specific skills do.
For example, “communication skills” is a vague soft skill.
Use ProWritingAids Word Explorer to help you make this vague skill more specific. The common 2-word phrase suggestions are particularly useful in this situation.
Instead of “communication skills,” you can say “personal communication,” “verbal communication,” or “mass communication.”
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How To List Your Skills
Whether youâre a jack of all trades or a master of one, you absolutely must list some skills on your resume. Skills offer additional insight into what you can offer the company as an employee, and may just push your resume over the edge and into the interview pile.
250+ Skills for Each Industry
Answer The Job Description
Use the job description to figure out what the employer wants to see in terms of skills on resume submissions. Look for phrases such as ârequired skills,â âtechnical requirement,â and âmust have experience withâ¦â The words that follow are usually necessary qualifications and keywords.
Make sure all required skills appear on your resume at least once. Use the exact word or phrase as the job description. Mention your top skills multiple times, such as in a professional summary, skills section, and while describing your work experience.
Reminder: use a combination of soft skills and hard skills for a resume.
Letâs break down the list above to detail exactly how to incorporate the right resume skills. Here is an example of some good skills a Director of Finance might want to put on a resume:
Your first step to identifying the right skills to put on your resume will follow the same process. Use the list of vital skills to identify your own talents that are valuable to employers.
We have more information about how to use them, and more examples of each skill further down on the page. First, though, we need to quickly go over why skills are the most valuable words on your resume.
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Where To Include Gaps In Employment
You should also know where to explain employment gaps in addition to understanding how to express them. Gaps in your employment can be addressed in three different places: your cover letter, your resume, or during an interview if questioned about it. While there are methods to conceal employment gaps from your resume, it is still critical for you to be truthful and forthcoming about them.
Cover letters are ideal for addressing major gaps in employment since they allow you to go into further detail about how you prepared to resume your career after being unemployed for a time. Explaining employment gaps in your cover letter shows recruiters and hiring executives that you are honest and trustworthy, which may help set you apart from other candidates.